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Faculty Portrait

Contact Information

Name: Dr. Semarhy Quinones-Soto

Title: Director of Student Research Center, Associate Project Director of CSU-LSAMP Alliance, Research Coordinator of Science Educational Equity Program, Lecturer of Biological Sciences

Office Location: Library 2026


Office Hours: Wednesdays, 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


B.S. Microbiolgy University of Puerto Rico, Humacao

Ph.D. Microbiology University of California, Davis

Post-Doc Bacterial Genetics University of California, Davis 

University Service & Other Appointments

Director, Student Research Center (LIB 2026)

Associate Project Director, CSU-LSAMP Statewide Office (SQU 226)

RISE Program Coordinator, NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Advancement (RISE) Program     

LSAMP Research Coordinator, Science Educational Equity Program (SQU 320C)  

Lecturer, Biological Sciences

SACNAS Chapter Advisor 

 SACNAS    SEE Program      


Courses That I Teach


BIO 184:   General Genetics (Lecture, Sec 09)   Tu,Th 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm Sequoia Hall 338

Past Courses:

BIO 7: Introduction to the Science of Biology (lecture & lab)

BIO 10: Basic Biological Concepts

BIO 184: General Genetics (lab)

BIO 220: Intro to Scientific Inquiry 

BIO 223: Human Molecular Genetics

NSM 21: First Year Seminar

Professional Interests

I have a deep passion to mentor and advise students, particularly students from traditionally underrepresented groups, who are interested in pursuing research careers.  I am deeply committed to improve the research experience of Sac State students by providing academic, research and career advise, graduate school preparedness and monitoring the students’ educational progress, while facilitating interactions between faculty mentors and student researchers.

As an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao (UPRH), I participated in the PR-LSAMP and the NIGMS-MARC research-training programs. Through the LSAMP and MARC programs, I gained the intellectual merit, advancing knowledge and understanding in the research field required to enter and complete a PhD program. These research-training programs played a vital role in my development as a scientist and becoming a mentor for students who wish to pursue graduate degrees. As part of my professional goals, I wish to provide the same opportunities I had to students at Sac State.

I also volunteer as a STEM Diversity Leader with the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and I founded the new SACNAS at Sac State student chapter. Through our chapter, I promote Diversity in Science Careers at the local and national level. 

Professional Associations, Awards & Scholarships

Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute - 2016 SLI Alumna

SACNAS - Advancing Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science

AAAS - American Association for the Advancement of Acience

CUR - Council of Undergraduate Research


NIH-IMSD Scholar, University of California, Davis (2003-2004)

MARC U-STAR Scholar, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao (2000-2002)

PR-LSAMP Scholar, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao (2000)


Zorraquino-Salvo, V., S. Quinones-Soto, ,M. Kim, N. Rai, I. Tagkopoulos. 2014. Deciphering the genetic and transcriptional basis of cross-stress responses in Escherichia coli under complex evolutionary scenarios. doi:

Sano, E., S. Maisnier-Patin, S. Quinones-Soto, J.P. Aboubechara and J.R. Roth. 2014. Selected Lac+ mutants in the Cairns system are initiated by pre-exiting cells with plasmid amplification. Genetics 198 (3), 919-933

Dragosits, M., V. Mozhayskiy, S. Quinones-Soto, J. Park and I. Tagkopoulos. 2013. Evolutionary potential, cross-stress behavior and the genetic basis of acquired stress resistance in Escherichia coli. Nature/EMBO Molecular Systems Biology 9(643)

Quinones-Soto, S., A.B. Reams and J.R. Roth. 2012. Pathways of Genetic Adaptation: Multi-step Origin of Mutants under Selection in Salmonella enterica. Genetics. 192:987-999

Quinones-Soto, S. and J.R. Roth. 2011. Effect of Growth under Selection on Appearance of Chromosomal Mutations in Salmonella enterica. Genetics. 189(1):37-53